East Asian Languages and Cultures | Seminar in East Asian Studies: Culture of Colonialism in East Asia
E600 | 13473 | Robinson, M.

Graduate Students Only
4 credits
Wednesdays 4:00 – 6:30

Nineteenth Century colonialism in East Asia proved to be a contrast
to the European experience in Africa, South Asia and Southeast
Asia.  China proved to be impossible to colonize and what emerged
after 1840 was a very complex and competitive system of semi-
colonial relations between China and ALL the Western powers plus
Japan.  In the northeast, Japan swiftly emerged as an imperial power
in its own right gobbling up Taiwan, portions of the Manchuria,
Korea, and after WW I large areas of  Oceania  in its growing

This course will investigate the institutions of colonial control
and competition that emerged in China by the end of the 19th century
and continue with an intensive look at the Japanese Empire.  Japan
was a curious  imperial power.  It was advantaged by being able to
follow after and learn from Western colonial policies and
technologies.  It was also a “high tech” imperialism, grounding its
control of vast areas with not just railroads and ports, but
telegraph and telephonic connections to its Metropole.  Finally,
Japanese Imperialism attempted to “assimilate” its Korean colony
based on a belief of cultural affinity.  These policies and the out
migration of millions of Japanese into its outer Empire mark East
Asian colonialism unique and fascinating culture.  The seminar
assumes no previous work on East Asia.  Students of European
imperialism and related topics are particularly encouraged to

We will be reading a collection of “classic” secondary works on
colonialism and colonialism in East Asia.  This reading and
attendant discussions will be the basis for a seminar paper on a
topic of choice for each student.  While not necessary, essays that
attempt comparative analysis of colonialism in East Asia and any
other colonial system will be encouraged.  Course evaluation will be
based on in-class participation and preparation as well as the final
seminar paper.